Saturday, August 29, 2015


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 88 Sunny High 109) 

For our Destiny RV Park friends, here is some of the damage from the monsoon earlier this week.

We now know more about Arizona weather than we ever planned to.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, August 28, 2015


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 87 Sunny High 109) 

There have been other monsoon storms in the Phoenix area but we had our first major monsoon in our area yesterday, 60 mph dust storm and rain, made for an interesting afternoon.

There were 5 microbursts in the metro area in this storm. There also was a gustnado in the west valley where we are. 

A gustnado is a weak, short lived tornado like vortex. The window facing the rain leaked so we have to get that fixed. There were lightning strikes that caught palm trees on fire across the valley. Here is one in Ahwatukee. 

Finally, we are so glad to have our generator because the power went out a little after 4p. 

We had air conditioning and TV until the power came back on about 1030p, 5 and 1/2 hours that we used our generator. We are luckier than some that are still without power Friday morning.

Never a dull moment in this lifestyle.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, August 10, 2015


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 86 Slight Chance of Storms High 106) 

Subtitled: It never makes that noise when you take it into the shop!

We drove back from Flagstaff yesterday, back to the furnace they call the valley of the sun. This will be a short entry as we are way behind in reading other blogs and all things electronic since we had some computer problems while in Flagstaff. The keyboard on our laptop started acting up and we took it to Best Buy today in Goodyear to get it fixed. Bob checked it yesterday and it was still having problems but it worked fine when the tech looked at it today, go figure. There still is an issue with the 'Capslock' light but everything else appears to work.

It never makes that noise when you take it into the shop!

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, August 7, 2015


Currently in Flagstaff AZ (Low 51 Storms Around High 75) 

We love the weather in Flagstaff that has allowed us to do something in the middle of the day instead of running from air conditioned space to air conditioned space. We toured Riordan Mansion State Park. Riordan Mansion is the story of the Riordan brothers who were involved in lumber, railroad, banking, cattle, and politics. To make the story even more interesting the two brothers who built this house, Timothy and Michael, married the Metz sisters.

The style of the house is arts and crafts. The architect was Charles Whittlesey whose name is no doubt recognized to those familiar with the hotels built by the railroads out west. Charles Whittlesey was the architect for the El Tovar Hotel at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Some of the similarities between the structures include massive stone arches at porch corners and rustic exterior consisting of log planks (for this home it was pine native to the area), wood shingles, and native stone (for this home it was volcanic rock). 

The two sisters wanted to be close to each other so the brothers had almost identical 6000 sq. ft. homes built with a 1000 sq. ft. common room between them. The architect called the room the rendezvous room while the brothers called it the cabin. Here is the mansion from the parking lot.

The visitor center is the original 6 car garage. The 13000 sq. ft. were built in less than one year finishing in 1905. Photos aren't allowed on the first house we toured, the east side residence of Timothy Riordan and his family. Bob got this picture before he was told. 

This is the unique ice box configuration just inside the entry of the house at the servants entrance. Ice was brought in and placed in the top area. The deliveries of groceries was placed in the second compartment accessible from the kitchen inside.

Here are photos from the other side of the house, Michael Riordan and his family, where photos are allowed, don't worry Bob didn't get into trouble :-)

Religious art was throughout the house, more on that later.

Although almost identical structurally the homes were decorated differently. The best example of that is the stained glass. On the Timothy side the stained glass windows were tulips, here is a photo from the outside since you couldn't take pictures in that side of the house.

On Michael's side the stained glass was Arizona Poppy.

Here is the outside of the house showing the rugged exterior and arches.

The flowers outside were beautiful.

An incredible family story and a family home. The Riordan's were proud Irish Catholics and contributed to the building of the 'Church of the Nativity' which we will blog about later.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, August 3, 2015


Currently in Flagstaff AZ (Low 50 Afternoon Thunderstorms High 80) 

Jo doesn't have her followup at the pain center until mid-August so we decided to escape the heat one more time. We drove yesterday to Flagstaff. At about 7000' the temperatures are much cooler. It will be nice that the daytime high is lower than the overnight lows where we came from. Here is the route we took:

The cooler temperatures, although some rain, for the week.

Compared to the weather in the valley.

We are both feeling some effects from the higher altitude so we are taking it easier today. It sure is nice to have the windows open, the cats really like that. For the rest of the week if it rains we go to movies, when cool we plan to do some sightseeing. We did have our first taste of the monsoons, ironically just after we blogged that we had been spared so far, funny how that works. We got dumped on pretty good Friday afternoon causing some flooding and wind damage although other parts of the valley got hit harder. Apache Junction, where Jim and Sandy from Where Are The Dixon's Today fame, may have gotten hit by a microburst. The news was showing damage in Apache Junction and it was the mobile home park next to them. They blogged on the storm and have pictures of damage in their park. We are glad that they are OK. Here is the picture of that monsoon from the network broadcast.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo